Visitors are welcome to step back into history and experience eighty acres of stately trees and statuary in the beautiful blend of nature and art that is Elmwood Cemetery.
Please come by the Victorian Carpenter Gothic Cottage which serves as our Visitor Center for maps, audio tours, picnic tables and handicap accessible restrooms. Research assistance is also available in the cottage, and security is on the grounds during business hours.
Tickets purchased for any of the events below are not refundable. Coupons are used for "Elmwood 101" tours only.
The Luck of the Irish
What better way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day than to visit the Scots-Irish who rest at Elmwood? On this tour you'll meet a former mayor, a founder of the city of Memphis, a scalawag or two...and those just might be the same people!
This all-walking tour is being led by Elmwood volunteer Donald Harrison. The tour will begin at 10:30 AM. Good walking shoes are recommended.
Register online or call 901-774-3212. Admission is $15 per person.
The Forgotten Adventures of Richard Halliburton: A High Flying Life from Tennessee to Timbuktu
From the amazon.com online review:
"Richard Halliburton ran away from his hometown in Memphis at the age of nineteen to lead an extraordinary and dramatic life of adventure. Against the backdrop of the Golden Age, the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression, Halliburton's exploits around the globe made him an internationally known celebrity and the most famous travel writer of his time."
This biography by writer R. Scott Williams can be purchased online or at Burke's Bookstore in Memphis at 901-278-7484.
Book club meetings at Elmwood are free and open to the public. Discussion will begin at 10:00 AM. Save your seat at the table by emailing: historian [at] elmwoodcemetery [dot] org.
On This Day in Memphis History
The City of Memphis is fortunate to have Historian and Librarian Wayne Dowdy at the helm of the Memphis Room at the public library. Dowdy has written several books, the latest of which is a fascinating book called On This Day in Memphis History, described below at amazon.com:
"Far more than blues and barbecue, Memphis culture has evolved one day at a time. Author Wayne Dowdy pins an exact date to a host of important, quirky and forgotten events in the history of Tennessee's largest city--an entertaining footnote for each day of the year. Earth, Wind and Fire founder Maurice White entered the world in a Memphis hospital on December 19, 1941. On January 15, 1877, a severe thunderstorm mysteriously left the city covered in snakes. On December 31, 1902, a resident was murdered on Main Street after taunting a Native American named Creeping Bear. Read a story a day or month at time. Enjoy a year of entertaining River City blasts from the past."
Dowdy will speak on his latest work and answer questions after.
This presentation begins at noon in the Lord's Chapel. Bring lunch if you like; we'll provide a drink and a little sweet treat. Register online or call 901-774-3212. $7.00.
Lunch & Lecture Presentations at Elmwood are brought to you by a special grant from the Crawford-Howard Private Foundation.
Easter Egg Hunt
The cemetery staff and volunteers invite our youngest of friends to join us for an Easter egg hunt on Saturday, March 28th at 9:00 AM! This fun event is open to kids from 1 to 10 years of age. A smaller hunting area for our youngest friends will be sectioned off so that everyone can fully enjoy the morning.
Make sure to bring your Easter basket so that you can find plenty of eggs. We'll hide a prize egg, too. The Easter bunny will even be joining us for photos!
Coffee and donuts will be on hand for sale. This event is free and open to the public. Please call with questions at 901-774-3212.
The Civil Rights Leaders of Elmwood
A.W. Willis, Maxine Smith, Benjamin Hooks, Marvin Ratner. These are some of the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement who rest at Elmwood. Before they laid to rest, they helped to begin to transform the United States, and the world, into a place that embraces equality for all.
Join Dr. Beverly Bond of the University of Memphis as she explores the lives of these amazing pioneers. This presentation will begin at noon in the Lord's Chapel. Bring your lunch if you like; we'll supply a drink and a sweet treat. Reserve your seat here or call 901-774-3212.
This lunch & lecture presentation is brought to you through a special grant fromt he Crawford-Howard Private Foundation.
Spring Tree Tour of Elmwood
Elmwood is home to almost 1,500 trees. Many of these trees are tagged, but there's so much more to know about a tree than its scientific and common name. Some of the trees that live in Elmwood are older than the cemetery! The trees of Elmwood are so beloved that the cemetery was even named for a tree.
Join us for this tree tour of the cemetery grounds with Elmwood volunteer Jim Dennis. Cost for the tour is $10 per person. This all-walking tour begins at 10:30 a.m. Call 901-774-3212 for more information.
African-American History Tour
The south's first African-American millionaire. A hero of the 1878 yellow fever epidemic. Memphis' first African-American schoolteacher. These are only three of the individuals you will learn about, and visit, during this African-American History Tour of Elmwood.
This walking tour will be lead by Elmwood volunteer Dale Schaefer and will last approximately 90 minutes. Walking shoes and weather-appropriate clothing are suggested. Register for this event by clicking on the link below or by calling 901-774-3212. Cost is $15 per person. Starts at 10:30 AM.
Elmwood is known for its large collection of Victorian funerary art. Students enrolling in Stone College will be trained to assist in the preservation of Elmwood’s oldest and most fragile monuments. This workshop will focus on cleaning, leveling and restoring monuments. Graduates of this three hour workshop will be invited to participate in scheduled monument cleanings and restoration events throughout the year.This workshop is scheduled for Saturday, April 25th from 9:00-11:30 am. The cost to attend is $25/person. Advance registration is required. Please wear comfortable clothing that you do not mind getting dirty. For more information about Stone College, please visit our page about Elmwood University.
The Graven Sounds Tour
Memphis musician Willy Bearden leads a tour on Saturday, April 25th at 10:30 AM that will surely resonate with you. Join him for the "Graven Sounds Tour" of Elmwood, where you'll be introduced to the music that echoes through the lives of the people who rest here.
You'll hear the song that's inspired by a young woman who froze to death for refusing to wear a coat. You'll visit a Confederate composer, a Big Band legend, blues singers, producers, and more on this 90 minute walking tour.
Save your spot and register today by clicking the link or call 901-774-3212.
Mother's Day Tea
Take time out from the hustle and bustle and enjoy a lovely mid-morning tea at Elmwood. After "momosas" and tea, there will be an abbreviated tour of the cemetery grounds. What a grand way to spend a spring morning!
Comfortable walking shoes and weather-appropriate clothing is recommended. Admission is $35 per person and advance registration is required. This event begins at 10:00 AM.